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Food Funct. 2019 Sep 1;10(9):5732-5738. doi: 10.1039/c9fo00390h. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

Metabolic effects of α-lipoic acid supplementation in pre-diabetics: a randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study.

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Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.


Supplementation of health promoting nutraceuticals may be an effective adjunct strategy with other lifestyle and drug approaches to impede disease progression in prediabetic subjects. α-Lipoic acid, a naturally occurring short-chain fatty acid, has been extensively evaluated for its antioxidant and glycemic control properties but has rarely been investigated as a lipid-lowering strategy. We conducted a pilot study to examine the effects of α-lipoic acid supplementation on glycemic control and lipid profile in pre-diabetic, overweight/obese adults. The study was designed as a free-living, randomized, two-phase, placebo-controlled cross-over study with 12 pre-diabetic, dyslipidemic subjects. Eligible subjects completed two thirty-day phases (in random order) consisting of a placebo (600 mg cellulose per day) and α-lipoic acid treatment (600 mg day-1). Although no change (p < 0.05) in serum glucose was observed, α-lipoic acid-supplemented subjects demonstrated reduced fasting serum insulin (p = 0.04) and HOMA-IR (p = 0.07) compared with the placebo group. However, no change (p > 0.05) in serum lipids (including total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, LDL-C/HDL-C, and TC/HDL-C) were observed. Study results suggest that α-lipoic acid supplementation may be a useful strategy to improve insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetic subjects but is not effective in modulating serum lipids.


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